Friday, September 6, 2013

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Bryan Woman Convicted of Health Care Fraud in Case Investigated by State and Federal Officials

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas issued the following news release on Sept. 5, 2013:

Jury Convicts Bryan Woman in Health Care Fraud Conspiracy

HOUSTON Yolanda Nowlin, 42, has been convicted of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, four counts of health care fraud, conspiracy to commit kickback fraud and aiding and abetting Social Security fraud, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. The verdicts were returned late yesterday afternoon following seven days of trial and less than three hours of deliberations.

Nowlin, of Bryan, ran two durable medical equipment companies - Yellabone Medic Care Express Equipment Supply Company and Yellabone Medical Equipment Inc. Nowlin was arrested in December 2012 along with co-defendant Carla Parnell, 50, also from Bryan. Parnell pleaded guilty earlier this year to Social Security fraud and testified against Nowlin at the jury trial.

The evidence at trial showed that between July 2003 and December 2009, Nowlin engaged in a scheme to defraud Medicare and Medicaid. Nowlin submitted claims to Medicare and Medicaid for durable medical equipment (DME) and incontinence supplies that were not delivered, not wanted and not needed by Medicare or Medicaid beneficiaries and were often the result of illegal kickbacks. During the alleged conspiracy, Nowlin submitted approximately $3,391,771.90 in claims to Medicare and Medicaid and received $1,108,316.82 for those claims. Approximately $750,000 was identified as fraudulently paid.

The evidence at trial also showed that Nowlin paid kickbacks to a large number of recruiters over the course of the scheme in return for the referral of beneficiaries to Yellabone.

Nowlin was additionally convicted of aiding and abetting the theft of government money from the Social Security administration. Nowlin and Parnell concealed Parnell’s employment with Yellabone in order to continue Parnell’s receiving Social Security disability benefits to which she was not entitled.

Nowlin faces up to 10 years for aiding and abetting Social Security fraud, up to 10 years for each count of health care fraud, up to 10 years for conspiracy to commit health care fraud and a maximum of five years for conspiracy to commit kickback fraud. She could also face the possibility of up to a $250,000 fine.

Nowlin’s sentencing hearing is set for Dec. 13, 2013, while Parnell is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 20, 2013. Both women were permitted to remain on bond pending their respective hearings.

The United States is additionally seeking forfeiture of approximately $750,000 to be paid as restitution to Medicare and Medicaid.

The case was the result of a joint investigation conducted by agents from the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Department of Health and Human Services-Office of the Inspector General, Office of Investigations. Special Assistant United States Attorneys

Adrienne E. Frazior and Suzanne Bradley prosecuted the case.